Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Discrepancies in Stem Cell Trial Data Linked to Reported Success of Treatment

Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Bookmark and Share
New research looking at the success of clinical trials of stem cell therapy shows that trials appear to be more successful in studies where there are more discrepancies in the trial data.

Researchers from Imperial College London conducted a meta-analysis of 49 randomised controlled trials of bone marrow stem cell therapy for heart disease. The study, published today in the British Medical Journal, identified and listed over 600 discrepancies within the trial reports. 

Discrepancies were defined as two (or more) reported facts that could not both be accurate because they were logically or mathematically incompatible. For example, one trial reported that it involved 70 patients, who were divided into two groups of 35 and 80.

The researchers found eight trials that each contained over 20 discrepancies. 

The researchers found that the discrepancy count in a trial was the most important determinant of the improvement in cardiac function reported by that trial. Trials with fewer and fewer discrepancies showed progressively smaller improvements in cardiac function. The five trials with no discrepancies at all showed an effect size of zero (see bar chart in Notes to Editors).

Previous meta-analyses looking at the results of lots of clinical trials have suggested that on average, bone marrow stem cell therapy has a significant positive effect on improving heart function. However, some trials have shown that it successfully improves heart function whilst others have not. The reasons for this are unclear. 

Professor Darrel Francis, one of the study authors from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said: "Clinical trials involve a huge amount of data and so it is understandable that discrepancies sometimes arise when researchers are presenting their findings. However, our study suggests that these discrepancies can have a significant impact on the overall results. It is a powerful reminder to all of us conducting clinical trials to be careful and vigilant to avoid discrepancies appearing in the work. 

"Furthermore, the scientific journals that publish the studies have a hugely important role and overall, there is much room for improvement in terms of how they deal with discrepancies when they come to light. Journals need to be transparent and publish discrepancies when they are identified. Our work suggests that this is not happening at the moment," he added. 

Bone marrow stem cell therapy involves taking stem cells from the bone marrow in the hip and infusing these into the heart, with the aim that these cells will turn into new heart muscle cells and help the heart repair. It is currently at an experimental stage and is not in use as a standard treatment. 

"Unfortunately, our research suggests that at present, it's not possible to give patients a clear picture of whether or not bone marrow stem cell therapy will be an effective treatment for heart disease. However, a large, carefully planned study of this kind of therapy is just starting, involving thousands of patients. This has rigorous protocols in place to ensure that the data are as reliable and useful as possible. I hope that this trial, which is known as BAMI, will provide us with some much-needed answers," concluded Professor Francis.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Technique Negotiates Neuron Jungle To Target Source Of Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers from Imperial College London and Newcastle University believe they have found a potential new way to target cells of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Designer Molecule Shines a Spotlight on Mysterious Four-Stranded DNA
A small fluorescent molecule has shed new light on knots of DNA thought to play a role in regulating how genes are switched on and off.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Highly Effective Seasickness Treatment on the Horizon
The misery of motion sickness could be ended within five to ten years thanks to a new treatment being developed by scientists.
Monday, September 07, 2015
Health Risks of Saturated Fats Aggravated by Immune Response
Research shows that the presence of saturated fats resulted in monocytes migrating into the tissues of vital organs.
Friday, September 04, 2015
Discovery of Trigger for Bugs’ Defences Could Lead to New Antibiotics
New research shows that sigma54 holds a bacterium’s defences back until it encounters stress.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Breakthrough Could Lead to New Antibiotics
Scientists have exposed a chink in the armour of disease-causing bugs, with a new discovery about a protein that controls bacterial defences.
Friday, August 21, 2015
New Drug Target Identified for Serious Heart and Lung Condition
A gene has been identified that sheds new light on a potentially fatal heart and lung condition and could lead to a new treatment.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Study Finds Brain Chemicals that Keep Wakefulness in Check
Researchers to develop new drugs that promote better sleep, or control hyperactivity in people with mania.
Saturday, August 01, 2015
Fossil Fuel Emissions will Complicate Radiocarbon Dating, Warns Scientist
The paper is published in the journal PNAS.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Scientists Find New Variant of Streptococcal Bacteria Causing Severe Infections
Researchers noticed a sharp rise in infections caused by emm89.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Shows Encouraging Trial Results
A therapy that replaces the faulty gene responsible for cystic fibrosis in patients' lungs has produced encouraging results in a major UK trial.
Friday, July 03, 2015
New Genetic Form of Obesity and Diabetes Discovered
Scientists have discovered a new inherited form of obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
New Genetic Form of Obesity and Diabetes Discovered
Scientists have discovered a new inherited form of obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Researchers Develop New Breath Test to Diagnose Oesophageal and Gastric Cancer
Test will now be tested in a larger trial involving three hospitals in London.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
'Crumpled' Filter to Slash Energy Consumption
Scientists have developed an ultra-thin, super-strong membrane to filter liquids and gases, with the potential to cut energy consumption in industry.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
Kitchen Utensils Can Spread Bacteria Between Foods
In a recent study researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters—the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers' homes and spread to the next item.
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Safer, Faster Way To Remove Pollutants From Water
Using nanoparticles filled with enzymes proves more effective than current methods.
Drug May Prevent Life-Threatening Muscle Loss in Advanced Cancers
New data describes how an experimental drug can stop life-threatening muscle wasting (cachexia) associated with advanced cancers and restore muscle health.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Novel Tumor Treatment
In the first published results from a $386,000 National Cancer Institute grant awarded earlier this year, a paper by Scott Verbridge and Rafael Davalos has been published.
New Analysis Technique for Chiral Activity in Molecules
Professor Hyunwoo Kim of the Chemistry Department and his research team have developed a technique that can easily analyze the optical activity of charged compounds by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Measuring microRNAs in Blood to Speed Cancer Detection
A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers.
Best Test to Diagnose Strangles in Horses Identified
New research by Dr. Ashley Boyle of New Bolton Center’s Equine Field Service team shows that the best method for diagnosing Strangles in horses is to take samples from a horse’s guttural pouch and analyze them using a loop-mediated amplification (LAMP) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos